Easy one bowl red velvet cupcakes that you will be able to whip up to perfection in no time. Top with my favorite cream cheese frosting, for the most perfect cupcake ever.
I adore red velvet. Adoration might not even be a strong enough word. This is absolutely pure love-a forever and ever I do kind of love. Like walk me down the aisle, friend. Me and red velvet will never part ways.
I’ve made these red velvet cupcakes now for over 5 years. They are seriously that good, but better yet, they are seriously easy. Like, they are made in just one bowl. And with only a whisk. How awesome is that? I love when I don’t have to bust out a whole bunch of mixing bowls, a sifter, and my stand mixer.
If you are somehow unfamiliar with red velvet let me drop some quick knowledge on you. It is a buttermilk based cupcake with a hint of cocoa, and of course red food coloring added in. Here is a fun fact for you from Cheesecake.com according to history, during World War II, because foods were being rationed bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color of their cakes and also to help retain moisture. It wasn’t until the 1920s, that a man was trying to sell more vanilla extract and food dye that the supposed original Red Velvet Cake was born. Huh, who knew? And I know some people shy away from the food coloring and still prefer to use the beet method. No beets for me please. I’ll save the beets for my salad.
How To Make These Red Velvet Cupcakes:
Have your pans ready before you start. Hopefully this is a no brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. Be sure to line your pans with your cupcake liners (these are my favorite go to cupcake liners) and get your oven pre-heated before you start. Your leavening agents go to work immediately so you do not want to lose precious lift while you are getting your pans ready once your batter is made.
To make this red velvet batter, start with mixing your dry ingredients- your flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. Be sure to measure your flour accurately, by spooning and leveling off your flour into your cup. I can’t stress this enough, friend. Too much flour and your cupcakes can come out dry and tough in the end. Once all your dry ingredients are measured and in the bowl, just give them a whisk to combine. Seriously, that’s it. No sifting, or fancy wand waving here.
In the same bowl with your dry ingredients let the wet ingredients join the party. I used to make these red velvet cupcakes in two separate bowls and combine them after. But after getting this cookbook, I got brave one day and decided just to go for it. Skipping the second bowl. And you know what? I saw no difference whatsoever. The heavens opened up, birds sang, wildlife came out to play. It was a great day.
And since that magical fairytale day, I’ve been all about one bowl recipes. Maybe it’s because I hate washing dishes so much? But I’ve made a one bowl chocolate cake with an easy marshmallow topping, peach tart studded with juicy red raspberries, and apple sheet cake covered in a creamy caramel icing. Shake the magic 8 ball…will there be more one bowl recipes on this blog in the future? You can count on it.
So let the liquid ingredients join the red velvet pool party- 1 egg, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, red food coloring, and vegetable oil. Again, all you need to do is simply whisk these together. As easy as it is to make these it’s very important to not over mix so you end up with light and fluffy cupcakes in the end.
This is a very liquid cupcake batter, so to scoop I recommend placing your batter in a liquid measuring cup to pour them evenly and with little mess. You want to fill these no more than 3/4 of the way full so they don’t spill over the edges of your pan and create a mess when baking.
Be sure to use a non-stick cupcake pan when baking cupcakes. And I always recommend having two on hand, so you put both in your oven if they fit (or quickly swap one out of the oven and put your second pan in without having to wait for the first one to cool).
Bonus: The cupcake pans I own and love come in a two pack on Amazon for less than $20!
For cupcakes that all come out perfectly, I like to set my timer for half the time the recipe calls for in order to remember to rotate my pans halfway through baking. Most ovens have what are called “hot spots” where it’s hotter in certain areas. So cupcakes that are in the “hot spots” can bake faster than others, so by rotating your pans halfway through you can ensure they evenly bake.
Once baked, it’s essential to take them out of the pan and let them cool on a cooling rack. If you leave them in the pan, they will continue to bake from “carryover heat”, which means your cupcakes could come out perfect and then end up being being dry if left in the pan.
If you want even more cupcake tips and help, then check out these three posts: my 15 tips for perfect cupcakes and 6 Cupcake Decorating Supplies You Need To Decorate Like A Pro and 6 reasons why your cupcakes are sinking in the middle. It’s got all the secrets that I know so you can be a cupcake rockstar in no time!
For the cream cheese frosting, use COLD cream cheese for your frosting. It will take a little longer to whip up but holds up better when piped. You can pipe on your frosting or simply use an offset spatula to frost them. If you are new to frosting cupcakes, here is a video so you can achieve perfect bakery style cupcakes. To frost these cupcakes, I used this large closed star tip.
If you want to go the more traditional route, you can make an Ermine (flour) buttercream to top your red velvet cupcakes with.
If you love baking cupcakes as much as I do, then be sure to snag my buttercream cheatsheet to learn how to easily customize your vanilla buttercream!
Craving more red velvet? Then check out these recipes…
And here are a few Red Velvet recipes from fellow food bloggers to check out:
Until next time, happy baking!
To Make These Red Velvet Cupcakes You Will Need:
- Cupcake Pans (you want two!)- my go to cupcake pans are these ones
- Cooling Racks
- Piping/Pastry Bags
- Whisk- This is my all time favorite whisk, has a bowl scraper attached!)
- Ateco Tip #847
- Dry Measuring Cups and spoons
One Bowl Red Velvet Cupcakes
For the cake
- 2½ cups cake flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp. 1 oz. liquid red food coloring
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
- For the frosting:*
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. (I used a large, unlabeled star tip to frost these cupcakes.)
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